It’s been 2 months now that we are on the road and how are we feeling? Are we happy with our decision to take on such an adventure? Has our relationship changed? Are the kids happy?
How is it going for you J?
Good so far, on the whole. As a lifestyle I both love it and hate it.
I’m loving going to different places, meeting new people and going to different sights some of which have been absolutely exquisite. The food, the colour, the smells – well I can leave the open drains. I like the anticipation of going to new places, looking out of the bus window as we make our way into town, and the exploration (the geek in me relating physical streets to maps and all). I love learning about the places we visit, and being able to tell the boys about what we see and do. And I love spending time with the family, something which has been difficult over recent years as I have been working away from home a lot.
What I don’t like is the stress we generate when we move from one place to another. Obviously the children fighting when they do. I don’t like the actual arrival in a new place. We tend to arrive in the afternoon then spend an hour being misdirected before arriving at the hotel and then looking for that 1st place to eat with grumpy children in tow. We need to be a bit more laid back about it all – and perhaps take a taxi once in a while – walking with heavy rucksacks in a new place where we have no idea where we are going does not equal happy family!
Despite the bad behaviour of the children sometimes, I am sure that we will achieve our goal of generating a harmonious family. Living together 24/7 is taking its toll, so we need to find some structure and reset some boundaries. As long as Tania and I are united, I am confident that we can get there.
I miss home from time to time, and my Mum & Dad, Brother and Sister, and friends near and far. Creature comforts are becoming less important. We haven’t watched TV for 2 months, our connection to the outside world is through the internet, and we have mostly been to places with WiFi – the most frustrating part, I find, is when we are in a hotel without WiFi. This makes it hard to research our next move – the Lonely Planet guide is OK but 2 years old (we have found quite a few entries that are no longer true – especially places to eat). On the occasions without WiFi I do feel cut off and isolated from our life in the west – but the compulsion to squat on FB all day is most definitely waning!
It would be good for Tania and I to get some free time once in a while – but finding a babysitter is a little difficult! So we have to make time when the boys have retired for the evening – and not just for the planning.
Looking back at the photos we have taken, the experiences we have had are amazing. It is not everyone who has the means or the courage to do what we are doing and every day has to be treasured – even if our little treasures sometimes take the shine off some parts of the day. Our lives have changed already, and we are growing through our journey each day. “Its wicked!” as the boys would say 😮
And for you master Lego?
I am feeling ok about the trip but at the same time I am missing all of my friends. I like what I am experiencing throughout this trip and I like spending time with Mum and Dad and the boys- on some occasions, when they are not being crazy.
The food is really nice and their chapati here are delicious.
The people in Malaysia are not as friendly compared to Indonesia.
I am really looking forward to visiting Thailand and taking my diving lessons but also visiting all the other countries.
I am ready to come home but back home I would probably want to go back.
And for you Lu?
I am sad and annoyed, my brothers are not being nice and it is just a nightmare. I like being with mum and dad.
I like the food, it’s super good, especially the roti.
I miss the school and my class and everyone in England but it’s fun here, I love it especially the snorkelling.
And for you mighty Mat?
It’s nice and good and beautiful. I like meeting new people.
I don’t like being with my brothers all the time but I do like being with my mum and dad. I don’t like not having school, I miss it.
And for you T?
Well, I am loving the whole experience, the feeling I have every time I enter one of those beautiful temple is quite inexplicable, it just takes me there, right bang in the middle of my stomach and it goes up, slowly, pressing on my breathing and then suddenly I have humid eyes- can I say that?
The people on the whole are really nice and laid back, travellers as much as locals. I feel safe, anywhere and any time- well apart from in Petalling street market KL. I freaked there, I felt squashed and that woman brrrr she scared me, the way she look at mighty Mat.
The moving from place to place doesn’t bother me really as we tend to stay a good 5 days to a week before we move again. The guesthouses we find are generally great, with all the mod cons you’d expect from home.
I got used very quickly to bargain, and our legs are just so strong now with all the walking we do. It is the best way to see the country really rather than taking taxis.
I also realised quickly NOT to trust the travel agents and it is in fact really easy, if you take the time to do some research, to get from A to B and sooooo much cheaper.
Life is not expensive here obviously but as we are on a shoestring, every penny counts and I mean every penny. Like, do we take the bus or walk the 2/3 kms to save RM8 (for the 5 of us)? to give you perspective, RM8 is approx ￡1.20. I know it sounds ridiculous but with that you can have a fab plate of Indian curry with a tea tarik or even a coke. So we walk and then stumble upon some magnificent temples or views or people.
I like the fact that I feel free, not attached to anything, not controlled by anything.
I like being with the boys and see them grow. They make me smile, laugh and proud; but boy oh boy they kill me. I already didn’t have much authority over them but now I have lost it all. They walk completely over me and find it really rewarding, it feels that way, but I don’t. And that stresses me. It actually kills me slowly, I certainly don’t like being alone with them anymore, one on one is fine but otherwise…..and it really upsets me not to be able to cope with it but I take some time off and leave them with J alone from time to time.
I now it is sad but I have to be honest with you and myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I really really like our adventure; it’s just that sometime it is hard, but then again I knew we were not going to travel on a pink fluffy soft cloud for 8 months.
I think that what is missing for them is the routine. There isn’t any, somehow we can’t, with the organisation of the trip and visiting or maybe J and I are really rubbish at organising, (I can see my mum’s big smile now, love you Mum). We just need to try having one.
Would I change anything so far? No not really, actually I am happy with our adventure. I know that we will all come out of it stronger and wiser and the good memories will stick with us for the rest of our life.